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Teenage Employment and the Spatial Isolation of Minority and Poverty Households

  • Katherine M. O'Regan and John M. Quigley.

I Introduction II Data and Measurement III Empirical Methods IV Results V Implications and Conclusions Using micro data from the US Census, this paper tests the importance of the spatial isolation of minority and poverty households for youth employment in the largest US metropolitan areas. We first estimate a model relating youth employment probabilities to individual and family characteristics, race, and metropolitan location. We then investigate the determinants of the systematic differences in employment probabilities by race and metropolitan area. We find that a substantial fraction of differences in youth employment can be attributed to the isolation of minorities and poor households. Minority youth residing in cities in which minorities are more segregated or in which minorities have less contact with non-poor households have lower employment probabilities than otherwise identical youth living in similar but less segregated metropolitan areas. Simulations suggest that the magnitude of these spatial effects is not small. It may explain a substantial fraction of the existing differences in youth employment rates for white, black and hispanic youth.

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Paper provided by University of California at Berkeley in its series Economics Working Papers with number 95-239.

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Date of creation: 01 Jul 1995
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Handle: RePEc:ucb:calbwp:95-239
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  1. Richard B. Freeman, 1982. "Economic Determinants of Geographic and Individual Variation in the Labor Market Position of Young Persons," NBER Chapters, in: The Youth Labor Market Problem: Its Nature, Causes, and Consequences, pages 115-154 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Anne C. Case & Lawrence F. Katz, 1991. "The Company You Keep: The Effects of Family and Neighborhood on Disadvantaged Youths," NBER Working Papers 3705, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Montgomery, James D, 1991. "Social Networks and Labor-Market Outcomes: Toward an Economic Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1407-18, December.
  4. O'Regan, Katherine M. & Quigley, John M., 1991. "Labor market access and labor market outcomes for urban youth," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 277-293, July.
  5. Evans, William N & Oates, Wallace E & Schwab, Robert M, 1992. "Measuring Peer Group Effects: A Study of Teenage Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 966-91, October.
  6. Mary Corcoran & Roger Gordon & Deborah Laren & Gary Solon, 1992. "The Association between Men's Economic Status and Their Family and Community Origins," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(4), pages 575-601.
  7. Holzer, Harry J, 1987. "Informal Job Search and Black Youth Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 446-52, June.
  8. Ihlanfeldt Keith R., 1993. "Intra-urban Job Accessibility and Hispanic Youth Employment Rates," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 254-271, March.
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